The Doom franchise has always been a primary example of how to develop an arcade first-person shooter to perfection. With DOOM Eternal, developer id Software takes the foundation of what we know and love about the series, and gives perpetuity to its current format. DOOM 2016, was quite obviously a renaissance for the entire series to blast its way back into the scene, while completely re-inventing itself. Re-establishing its purpose, DOOM Eternal builds off DOOM 2016’s incredible foundation with its astounding detail, fun gun-play, stunning visuals, and rocking soundtrack. Its admirable how a title such as this, can challenge players in almost a “souls-like” type strategy, with a guaranteed death count that will accumulate over the 15+ hours of its exciting campaign. DOOM Eternal’s purpose in our current climate of shooters is to serve those who love to jump in a just raise hell; you’re not looking for a Call of Duty, or a Rainbow Six: Siege. It serves as a shooter that combines the essentials of yesteryear, and enhances it with its buttery-smooth presentation, and robust collection of guns to match its vigorous roster of baddies. “Rip and Tear” is the tagline for DOOM Eternal, and it follows its motto with the intent of displaying an astonishing amount of gore. The latest entry upholds the reputation of its namesake, DOOM.
While DOOM has always been known for its amazing depot of weaponry, getting “hands-on” with our alien baddies has always been something I adored. The notion of getting some blood on your hands for the sake of humanity’s well-being is a thrill-ride; I certainly love the creative ways you can rip all your weakened enemies with your bear hands. DOOM Eternal displays a variety of ways to annihilate any oncoming enemy that you may encounter. The flurry of zombie-like creatures that you’re immediately introduced to upon booting the title, will only be present for what is most obviously, a tutorial based period of the game. Understanding how to physically attack a weakened opponent, and shred them with your chainsaw is deviously delightful, and will teach you exactly what you’re up for when you are introduced to a barrage of baddies waiting behind the first door.
Laying in fists to enemies seem ineffective in most circumstances, even the zombies seem to take little to no damage; it seems the its purpose to punch enemies here is to either shove them aside, or to gain access to secret areas within the map. You’re best off gaining access to any weapon you can wield, and that is where the fun truly begins. DOOM master’s itself as the quint-essential arcade shooter, with its mesmirising display of intuitive gunplay, that just makes it nonsensical, and mischievous, but it all comes down to the one word we all seek when playing video games, fun. DOOM Eternal’s gunplay is fun. Obliterating a Cacodemon was comical, shooting a sticky grenade right into its gullet, showing its weakened state to head right in for the Glory Kill. Improving on DOOM 2016’s Glory Kills, Eternal take’s each brutal finisher to hysterically savage levels unimaginable.
Using each tool at your disposal is imperative in DOOM Eternal, but you must be strategic as ammo, armor, and health are sparse and will run dry consistently. Eternal’s upgrade system has been improved tenfold. Swapping out guns, and using alternative fire means are as speedy as they were in 2016, but have been given a tune-up with its impeccable bonuses after each glory kill. Modifying your gun can unlock new ways to fire at enemies with the exact same weapon. Sentinel Crystals will allow you to level your health and armor, all while maxing out your ammunition. This plays-in-part of DOOM’s whimsical gameplay, but there is skill to be achieved and put to great use. While I would love to say that you can simply brandish any gun, and go a blazing on every single enemy, there are moments of rationality that must be taken to advance. Keeping yourself aware of your continuous usage of ammo, chainsaw and flamethrower fuel, will be vital.
In the end, it will be about numbers and figures in how to keep DOOM Slayer alive and kicking. Being mindful of respective weaponry and armour will pro-long each session, with enemies growing stronger in each advancing area. Certain enemy’s will only be weakened by specific weapons; these enemy types are regarded as more mini-bosses and can be quite enduring. Stay aware of your surrounding, as you may be propelled into a hoard of “Fodder’s”. These include zombie enemy’s, and Soldiers who just cannot keep to themselves, wash your damn hands. While they may be the weakest on the list of enemy types, in droves they will shred you into bloody ribbons. Now, when I say “Souls-like”, I certainly mean a repetitive instance where you will absolutely die a thousand times in this game. It is as tough as they get. My experience in DOOM Eternal lasted over 17+ hours, and died a bountiful amount of times. Luckily, the title bounces you right back in to your last encounter, the only issue that lies here is your inventory. Remaining unprepared for said battle may lead you in a never-ending loop of disastrous proportions. So, my simple advice here is stock-up as much as you can.
Simply put, you won’t remember the entire plot. Eternal’s story is second to its gameplay, and that’s okay. While trying to display a serious demeanor in narrative, with some moments of comic-relief, DOOM Eternal take’s place after the events of its predecessor, with Earth overtaken by demons and aliens (whodathunkit?). With DOOM Slayer now living in a remote location, he survey’s Earth’s current state and decides that it’s time to RIP AND TEAR. Now overruled by the corrupted UAC: Union Aerospace Corporation, DOOM Slayer’s set mission is to annihilate the the demonic Hell Priests, who serve the angelic being knows as Khan Maykr. With all makind at stake, he successfully kills one of the unholy pastor’s, Deag Nilox in New York City. The two remaining priests are protected and beamed into another location by Maykr. With Al Vega in tow, it is now up to DOOM Slayer to save humanity from its impending… DOOM. That sums up the entire plot, and honestly I would love to say I remembered half of it. It’s not that I wasn’t compelled nor interested by some moments, but it’s not what sells DOOM, but that is okay. I’m here to eliminate and eradicate every single expendable demon I can, causing nothing but violence and mayhem.
DOOM Eternal’s multiplayer gives the title longevity, and entices all loyal players to jump in from time-to-time and experience something different. While most multiplayer, arena shooter’s and battle royale’s follow a similar format, DOOM Eternal aims to show something a little more distant, and distinctive. Battlemode places you into a maxed-out, yet handicapped style format that has DOOM Slayer, face pairs of Demons that are controlled by random players. This best-of-five encounter aims to have Slayer defeat both Demons in a set time limit, before defeated foes can respawn. If a Demon respawns – and they are able to respawn into random types – then Slayer must re-defeat said enemy again until the round is cleared. It ultimately sets the protag-player into a race against time.
Oh, and don’t think it’s just you and the two demons, no the entire field is surrounded by AI enemies that hoard in droves as well. While some may label this as bottle-knecking the experience, I claim that this helps enhance it without each arena seeming empty. Each arena is based on remodeled maps from the campaign, so familiarity plays a part for those who may have completed it, prior to jumping into this mode. Playing as a Demon in Multiplayer, is hella fun – yes, I said hella. Slinging my large axe and blasting my enemy down with my shotgun at the same time, all while my partner engages in close-up battle just makes for a tantalising trip. While playing with random people online may seem like a tough gig, it made for some hilarious dialogue and shrieks of havoc-induced hesitation.
Australian Video Game Composer Mick Gordon returns with his heavy metal laced composition, curating and creating some of the best music in video gaming this year. The intense and palpable tunes that cross the threshold of rock and electronica make for some of the most heart-racing moments the game has to offer. “Humanity’s Last Chance” and “The Absolution” are among my two favourites from the tracklist, and enhance the entire experience by its heavy mix of slow and meticulous, right into the fast and slapdash styles we know and adore of this franchise. Gordon’s amalgamation of heavy rock and electronica, mixed with the grit of DOOM is a match made in hell, its demonically delicious. Darin De Paul (Overwatch, Persona 5) and Matthew Waterson (Titanfall 2, Final Fantasy XV) shine in their respective roles as Samuel Hayden and DOOM Slayer, with De Paul’s trademark dulcet tones, and Waterson’s booming articulation, we see some of the best portrayals from this franchise yet.
DOOM Eternal is the best First Person Shooter this year. Hands down, no doubt, can’t argue this fact. It’s bloody, it’s gory, it’s violent and it’s fun. I highly suggest any gamer out there to experience the nonsense that exudes nothing but jaw dropping, trigger-happy action. While many questionable decisions may have been made through development, such as over-tutorialising, and overwhelming players with an abundance of essentials and over-populating maps with hoards of enemy’s, it’s the perfect recipe for uncultivated mayhem. Mix this with utmost respect of smashing an aliens face in with a satisfying white-knuckle sandwich, and a glory kill to follow it just makes every death thrown your way worthwhile. There will be a rhythm to get a hold of once jumping into the deep end of the title, but once you have it down-pat DOOM Eternal will be one of the most memorable experiences in gaming, you will have this generation.
DOOM Eternal – Bethesda